Poetisk Podcast #10: Taras & Anna

Recorded in April, a little over a month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In her introduction to the podcast Lene Henningsen (who translated and recorded the poems), at the time still recovering from a bout of Covid, describes “…fever dreams and fantasies, many of which ended somewhere in Ukraine, and that was perhaps not so strange since many of our thoughts at the moment end there, or dwell there, and perhaps find it difficult to find a way back again.”

Taras Shevchenko (1814 – 61), was Ukraine’s great national poet from the Romantic era and a symbol of the country’s independence – a political figure, artist, and etnografer. Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966), an important and highly loved Russian (Ukrainian born) poet, wrote in the shadow of Stalin, censorship, persecution and fear. Both were national treasures, each in their own way. Both were censored and imprisoned for writing and thinking the way they did.

I wrote a little about the complex tangle of cultural identity and imperialism that they provide a touchstone for, in my newsletter at the time.


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Hi, I’m <a rel="me" class="p-name u-url" href="https://rudigermeyer.com">Rudiger Meyer</a>, a composer interested in the play between music, sound, and&nbsp;media.

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